Friday, July 17, 2009

1996 Lexus SC 400

Ugh. As the prices drop on these cars I'm starting to see many, many, lowered, chrome-wheeled, big-winged, pimped out examples. If you want one of these in stock, non-abused condition, the time to buy one may be now.

This may be the most un-Japanese Japanese car you can buy. It could have come from BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Almost.

The 4.0 liter V8 engine in this is brilliant. Smooth, free revving for an 8 and putting out 250 HP, it can get the car to 60 MPH in under 7 seconds.

The interior is typical Japanese; well laid out, durable and featuring every bell, whistle and gizmo known to man. It doesn't look as classy as an Audi interior or as purposeful as a BMWs, but it's still a damn nice place to be.

The exterior is what sets this car apart from most other Japanese cars. Japanese styling has come a long way in the past few decades, but still, Japanese cars tend to be just a bit over styled or under styled. Not this one.This, to my eyes, is close to perfect. Everything has a slight curve to it, giving it a classy aerodynamic look. There are no sharp angles, no chrome, no semi-useless vents.

If the SC400 has a flaw, it's a flaw that most Japanese cars have... It has no personalty. It's hard to explain, but it's almost too perfect. I've driven an SC400 a few times. It's is a great car to commute to work in. It's a great car to take your kid to a baseball game in. It's a great car to take anywhere. It will get you to wherever you're going with no drama. It will get get you there and back with style and class. It just won't be an exciting drive.

How can a fast, good looking, well built car not be exciting? I don't know. I can't explain it. Maybe it's me.

This car was well over $50K when new. The one being offered on Craigslist seems to be a nice unmolested example with 121,000 miles on it. The asking price is $5995.00 - almost a tenth of what the car was when it was new.

Here would be my plan... I'd budget $12,000 for the car. I'd buy this one for for 5 or 6 grand, then I'd spend another 6 grand on something exciting... something with a personality and maybe a few flaws. Something British, Italian or maybe French. For less than the price of a new Honda Civic I'd have the best of both worlds (and this 13 year old Lexus will probably be just as reliable as the Civic).

Located in Salem, NH, click here to see the Craigslist ad for this Lexus.

Click here
to find the Lexus Owners Club.

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